Most experienced players develop a starting hand table: a written standard for when they will enter a hand and how they will approach it. The starting hand table serves as a guideline for deciding which hole cards the player will raise, call, or fold before the flop. A key poker skill is estimating each opponent's starting hand table. What hands will they always fold? What hands will they raise with when it's folded to them on the button?
Many of us estimate our opponents' starting hand table with just two or three statistics, such as the percentage of hands where they voluntarily put money in the pot (VPIP). While valuable, these stats leave out a lot of details, such as how the opponent adjusts their play based on position and the action. The Player Analyzer helps you examine an opponent's entire opening strategy.
Starting hand observations
The “Observed” tab displays a starting hand table based on what you've observed of a player's actions. Each row represents a pair of hole cards, and each column represents their position and the action before them. Each cell in the grid contains a letter for the action they took most frequently: (R)aise or (C)all/(C)heck. An empty cell indicates that the particular combination didn't occur in the hand histories that Poker Sleuth has parsed. Hover the mouse over a cell to see the exact breakdown of Raise and Call. The cells are color-coded. Pure green indicates always raising and pure blue indicates always calling. Red indicates folding. Other colors represent mixed play.
You will never see a (F)old in most rows here, because the player's cards are not recorded if the player folds. However, the top row (“All”) incorporates data from all hands, even folded ones.
Starting hand inferences
Poker Sleuth takes analysis a step further with its starting hand inference engine. The “Inferred” tab looks a lot like the “Observed” tab, but Poker Sleuth interpolates and extrapolates from the observed data to fill in the rest of the table.
The table is sortable, so if you want to see which hands a player uses most often in a particular position and situation, just click on that column. Click on the “Hole” column to return to the regular order.